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Designing Women S4 E18 Extra Sugar - Busting Up Southern Women Tropes

Updated: May 31, 2023

Who? Little ole me? Bats eyes, faints. Comes to…slaps you like the fiery, well-mannered, brazen, demure Southern woman that she is. Whaaaaaaaaat? Yeah, we don’t get it either, which is why we’re exploring and busting up Southern women tropes in this week’s all-new Extra Sugar.


Now excuse us, we have to go keep a perfect home, rope a calf, and put on some kind of hoop skirt. You know, because we’re Southern housewives, country girls, or belles. We forget.


Here are some reads we mentioned in case you want to dive deeper:


Come on y’all, let’s get into it!




 

Transcript

Speaker A: Hey, Nikki.


Speaker A: Hey, Salina, and hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.


Speaker A: So part of the genesis for our show was to well, it was, and it is to explore and debunk Southern stereotypes as a whole.


Speaker A: Of course, as we've gone along, turns out there's a lot of stereotypes out there.


Speaker A: I don't think we needed to know that, but as we've ran by them in show references, we've tried to debunk those as well.


Speaker A: Voodoo comes to top of mind for me.


Speaker A: That wasn't one I was expecting to run across in this show.


Speaker A: But one thing we haven't carved out time to discuss specifically are Southern women stereotypes, which is kind of funny.


Speaker B: I was going to say ironic.


Speaker B: I'm not sure that's like the Alanis Morissette definition of ironic.


Speaker B: It's something.


Speaker A: It's something, right?


Speaker B: Funny is probably the right word.


Speaker A: We backburnered it.


Speaker A: It's just us.


Speaker A: And it's interesting because these kinds of stereotypes for Southern women, I mean, they're pretty ingrained in the cultural consciousness, or they'll also wind up popping up as a recognizable trope in entertainment.


Speaker A: And I think with any stereotype, we're sort of like it's circular chicken?


Speaker A: Is it the egg?


Speaker A: I don't know.


Speaker A: But some of these things just feel it felt like it was time to go ahead and just rip this Band Aid off, and I'll get to why.


Speaker A: But one thing I want to just quickly pause and share is that you're going to hear me.


Speaker A: Throughout the course of this segment, refer to tropes and stereotypes fairly interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences.


Speaker A: A trope is more like a cliche, an idea or an expression that's been used by many people.


Speaker A: A stereotype is an idea or statement about all the members of a group or all the instances of a situation.


Speaker A: I think a lot of people consider tropes to be less problematic and more of like a storytelling device.


Speaker A: But I would just say that to me, it's all part of the sauce, because a trope can really feed into a stereotype.


Speaker A: So that's just a quick little editorial note for me.


Speaker A: But one of the reasons we haven't had the opportunity to talk about this before is because I think at least because I was kind of trying to think about this, I think we usually try and let the show trigger whatever we do.


Speaker A: And if you think about it, LBT's partial purpose with Designing Women was to steer away from these tropes and really instead showcase a modern Southern woman or women and the more progressive parts of the south.


Speaker A: But as I was watching this episode and Vanessa's My Fair Lady esque plotline, there was something that made me think that now might be a good time to unpack some of these stereotypes that still exist and persist for the Southern woman.


Speaker A: Let me ask you something.


Speaker A: When I mention this topic of like, a Southern woman stereotype, is there something that you automatically think of no, it's okay.


Speaker B: I'm trying to think of how to articulate it in a way that makes sense, almost like demure or deferring to men and sort of just being gentle and letting a man tell you what to do.


Speaker A: I definitely think that's one.


Speaker A: So we're going to go over three and these are going to sound almost more like archetypes.


Speaker A: So the very first one that we're going to talk about and I think some of the characteristics you're describing, definitely, I think you could at least say they fit into two, but certainly this one as well.


Speaker A: The Southern bell, the most enduring stereotype we have, thanks to a little book, a movie called Gone with the Wind and its iconic heroine, Scarlett O'Hara.


Speaker A: So bells are the epitome of traditional femininity and I think that's some of the things that you're really alluding to, right?


Speaker A: This idea of submissiveness submissive, that's the.


Speaker B: Word I couldn't think of.


Speaker A: I was with you, though.


Speaker A: I was with you.


Speaker B: Thanks.


Speaker A: So by all accounts, these women are beautiful.


Speaker A: They're witty, they're charming, well mended, and even a little flirty.


Speaker A: Did I mention beautiful?


Speaker A: One might even say that they're almost solely used ornamentally.


Speaker A: They have marriage on their mind and their mind on marriage.


Speaker A: They typically have status in their community.


Speaker A: They have wealth.


Speaker A: For some, it may be difficult to not think of high society balls, hoop skirts and white gloves, or even moonlight and magnolias, as one article put it.


Speaker A: The actual historical markers of the bell were pretty short lived, thanks to a little skirvish called the Civil War.


Speaker A: Look it up.


Speaker A: It's a thing.


Speaker A: But I might argue this would have shapeshifted into the debutante in a more modern read on it, well, modern and country club world that we've talked about to some extent right here on this show.


Speaker A: Another version is like a true Southern lady, or even in the case of a stereotype right here in Georgia, a Georgia peach.


Speaker A: It speaks to this supposed delicateness and whatnot, according to the Take, which is this online platform that analyzes movies and TV, there are a few deeper reads on the bell.


Speaker A: One is that like in the case of Scarlett O'Hara, she's actually not really that good of a Southern bell.


Speaker A: The ones who are good at it for what that stereotype of a Southern bell is, is more like her mother or Melanie.


Speaker A: In fact, in the case of Scarlett, it's probably the least interesting thing about her.


Speaker A: Rather, her ability to survive and thrive despite the things that are going on around her is really part and parcel to what's made her such a lasting character.


Speaker A: There is also an inherent whiteness in this trope.


Speaker A: Even though the south is a diverse place, white women are at the center of the story, even when they aren't the only ones present.


Speaker A: And finally, beauty is often their currency.


Speaker A: And as that fades, so does their power, which in turn feeds into the patriarchal system that never truly valued them in the first place.


Speaker A: Because the thing is, there's always more beautiful women coming behind you or that's what people want women to be scared of.


Speaker A: So on that note, it's part of that system that we've talked about before the patriarchy that pits women against one another because it's a false narrative that there's only so many seats at the table, so we'll just kill each other.


Speaker A: I'm going to move on to the next one, but is there anything do you have any questions for me about that?


Speaker A: Now, I've read one article, so I'm an expert.


Speaker B: Go, no, I don't have any questions.


Speaker B: I think you mentioned the Georgia peach and how the idea being how delicate peaches are.


Speaker B: And I just think that's I don't know if this is super relevant.


Speaker B: I just think the first thing I thought of was what a shame that is, because I think of Southern women as super strong.


Speaker B: Like a peach would never survive in the Georgia heat.


Speaker B: They don't.


Speaker A: Georgia women do.


Speaker B: They survive the heat all the time.


Speaker B: And I think about women, Southern women, who have brought their families up through things like wars and depression.


Speaker B: I'm just thinking through my own lens of strong women in my life who have carried a family, who have had various jobs, different types of hardworking jobs, jobs in the field, in the summer, like doing these things to make sure their family had what they needed.


Speaker B: And it just always makes me so sad that they're just reduced to peaches.


Speaker A: Well, let me tell you something.


Speaker A: There ain't nothing tougher than a woman from the appalachia.


Speaker B: I truly think that was the first thing that came to mind when you use the metaphor of the peaches.


Speaker B: I was just like, what a short shrift to Southern women because they're so strong and have pushed through so much?


Speaker A: We'll talk more about it because I think there are some colliding ideas as well.


Speaker A: This next stereotype that I want to talk about is the country girl or the cow girl.


Speaker A: So we'll cover another stereotype as well.


Speaker A: But this is one of my favorite Oakley.


Speaker A: But this one is like one of my favorites because it's one of, in my mind, the most impossible standards to meet.


Speaker B: Oh, no.


Speaker A: So here's my impression of this one, particularly when I see it in entertainment.


Speaker A: She'll rope a calf in your heart she can hang with the boys pound for pound and drink for drink she's as comfortable playing Texas Hold them as she is holding the rifle and she's a darn good shot too but when push comes to shove, she can trade in her still toe boots for stilettos any day.


Speaker A: And despite her ability to gut a fish in under 30 seconds, she still knows how to harness her feminine wilds and drive all the boys crazy because she's a country girl.


Speaker A: So it's just one that I've seen like, creep up a few times.


Speaker A: The most recent example I can think of is actually not set in the south.


Speaker A: It's on yellowstone.


Speaker A: I feel like this is kind of a character that I see over and over again.


Speaker A: It's more like, I guess, the idea of a rural stereotype, maybe even more than Southern.


Speaker A: But one of the ranchers is from like maybe Louisiana, and they do play her like a tomboy and a little bit to be funny, but she's like drop dead gorgeous.


Speaker A: So I can't tell you how many gorgeous ranchers I know.


Speaker A: It's just happening all the time that look like they could be runway models.


Speaker A: Obviously some of that is an edifice of television and the way that act.


Speaker B: I was going to ask how many ranchers you know?


Speaker A: I know so many.


Speaker B: All the ranchers.


Speaker A: I know what sun does to you.


Speaker A: Scan.


Speaker B: That reminds me of the Pygmy girl, which we talked about recently.


Speaker B: I think I shared that term with you and you didn't know what I was talking about.


Speaker A: I thought you said the Pygmy girl.


Speaker B: Pygmy girl.


Speaker A: I'm not sure, but I don't think that's appropriate.


Speaker B: The pick me girl who's like, I'm beautiful, but also I can do all the things the guys can do.


Speaker B: That's what that reminds me of.


Speaker B: There's probably a version of that in every culture and society.


Speaker B: There's probably some stereotype of a woman who can be a man because the.


Speaker A: Patriarchy and I think anytime that you are talking about any of these stereotypes, it's like these are not all inclusive to the south, right?


Speaker A: I mean, the Southern bell might be a little bit, but in addition to this being just like a really tall order to exist, it's a smidge unrealistic.


Speaker A: These depictions make people think that maybe for you that's true.


Speaker B: You don't know.


Speaker B: I'm a rancher and I'm beautiful.


Speaker A: These depictions rather make people think that the south is overwhelmingly rural.


Speaker A: And it's not.


Speaker A: When you go and look at census data, three quarters of the population actually live in urban areas.


Speaker A: So I think just in terms like when we talk about stereotypes, we're thinking about what people's walk away is with a group of people they don't know much about.


Speaker A: And so I think it just sort of sets up this idea.


Speaker A: I have often heard Southerners say they'll go somewhere else and they're like, what does it feel like to use an outhouse all the time?


Speaker A: They don't probably say that to them with a Southern accent, but you get the idea of what I'm saying.


Speaker A: And so I think if you're not exposed to Southerners for some reason, you may walk away.


Speaker A: Seems weird, but you may walk away with a different thought than what is actually true.


Speaker A: Well, let me just pause there.


Speaker A: Is anything that you want to add before I move on to our final category?


Speaker B: Nothing more than the Pygmy girl that I've already brought up.


Speaker A: The third and final trope that we'll cover is what I'm calling the homemaker, or what the Take referred to as the housewife and the matriarch, aka another modern application of the Southern bell's ideals of femininity.


Speaker A: This stereotype is pretty crystal clear in my mind.


Speaker A: I'm picturing the perfect mother and wife with the perfect home and the perfect children.


Speaker B: Are you looking at a picture of me in your head?


Speaker A: I'm looking at a picture of right here on my desk.


Speaker B: Awkward.


Speaker A: Why?


Speaker A: You don't have a picture of me on your desk.


Speaker A: She's the consummate hostess, doting on everyone who crosses her threshold or otherwise.


Speaker A: There's.


Speaker B: Leave me alone.


Speaker A: Why are you at my house?


Speaker A: There's always a pitch of sweet tea on the table and a crude plate appearing out of thin air.


Speaker A: She's in the PTA and the gardening club.


Speaker A: Family only comes second to the Lord and she goes to church every week.


Speaker A: And yet not one hair on that head is ever out of place.


Speaker A: She's always very put together.


Speaker A: I mean, she wouldn't even walk to the mailbox without her face on.


Speaker B: No, she'd send the kids for me.


Speaker A: This kind of puts me almost in the mind of someone like a melin from Still Magnolias.


Speaker A: Though by the end of the movie, we see that perfect facade breakdown because she has to face something bigger than that perfect person that she's trying to be all the time.


Speaker A: Yes.


Speaker B: This one makes me think that some people think Southern women just stopped developing in the 1950s.


Speaker B: And the reason I say that is because I'm thinking of, like June Cleaver, like the Leave It to Beaver mom, like the perfect 50s mom who just had everything sorted out and was taking care of the family.


Speaker B: And in some ways, I think people just think we stopped developing as a society.


Speaker A: I think people do see us as frozen in time.


Speaker A: And I don't know if that now.


Speaker A: This was my take on the homemaker and that picture that resides in my head.


Speaker A: And I agree with you.


Speaker A: This is definitely one of the ones where I was thinking like, this doesn't we don't own this in the south, but I think we do a really good job making it exist.


Speaker A: When people try and capture us sometimes, or maybe it is because of the period pieces, like, I can't help but hear this and see this and think of the help definitely in that 60s time period.


Speaker A: So I was mentioning this before, but coming back to this idea of what you were saying earlier, like, when I think of women in the South, I think of strong women.


Speaker A: So one additional thing that really struck a chord with me as I was reading through different things was the contradictions across Southern women's stereotypes or tropes.


Speaker A: And this is something that Take video also spoke to as well.


Speaker A: But here's a few examples.


Speaker A: This is how it felt like reading through the different characteristics she's brazen and bold.


Speaker A: Outspoken but soft spoken.


Speaker A: Demure, quiet and kind, but hot tempered.


Speaker A: She's delicate like a flower, but full of pure southern grit and determination.


Speaker A: It's not lost on me that that sounds a lot like still magnolias.


Speaker A: But hear me out.


Speaker A: I know that people are full of nuance and contradictions, and speaking as a woman and a southern woman myself, you know, complicated, but there's something here that puts me in the mind of that thing we always do to women.


Speaker A: We ask them to be absolutely everything to everyone at all times.


Speaker A: We have to be domestic, goddesses, boss babes, ladies in the streets.


Speaker A: Sorry, Nikki.


Speaker B: Freaks in the beds.


Speaker A: Okay.


Speaker B: I thought we were going ludicrous on that one.


Speaker A: That's right.


Speaker B: That might be Lil John.


Speaker A: Well, they're both in that song.


Speaker B: They're both in it, right?


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: Okay, good.


Speaker A: Do you like how I was going.


Speaker B: To work my way.


Speaker A: But so we're asked to be all of those things and, like, hey, like, bake a cake while you're at it.


Speaker A: I can't help but feel that sense of pressure from these impossibly high standards or maybe expectations that very few, if any, of us can actually live up to.


Speaker A: I have a couple more things I want to talk about and maybe even a game of sorts in the mix.


Speaker A: But let me ask, did any of these categories at all resonate with you or your southern experience?


Speaker A: This can be like, whether or not you see any of this in yourself or whether or not you see it in anyone else that you know.


Speaker B: I mean, I don't want to say that the domestic just give me their names, full name.


Speaker B: The southern bell doesn't really resonate with me at all, but I think some of it is classist and some of it's societal.


Speaker B: Like, I don't live in high society, and I think there is some version of debutante balls.


Speaker B: Like, I had sorority sisters who came out who had debutante balls.


Speaker B: That is, as you said, a modern version of the southern bell.


Speaker B: So that doesn't resonate with me.


Speaker B: The cowgirl thing doesn't resonate with me because my people were farmers, they weren't ranchers.


Speaker B: So that doesn't resonate with me.


Speaker B: That third one, the domestic really get.


Speaker A: Hung up on the ranchers.


Speaker B: And now I'm also thinking of, like, Annie Oakley, but the domestic version.


Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, some of that's rooted in religion, too.


Speaker B: That that's, like, your role.


Speaker B: And I think religion plays such a strong role in southern culture that I'm thinking of, like, one of my grandmothers fits that category that's all she ever wanted to be was a mom and to raise her children.


Speaker B: So that's not to say that there aren't southern women that fit that category at all.


Speaker B: So that one is the one of the three that felt the closest to something I can identify with.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: I would say, when thinking about other people, yes.


Speaker A: There's aspects of each of those that I think I know.


Speaker A: There's friends of mine that are like, they're really girly, but then they're like, you want to go fishing?


Speaker A: Well, I wasn't expecting you to say that.


Speaker A: So there are aspects like that that I see in some of my friends.


Speaker A: I think certainly the religion piece fits into a lot of the different mold of whatever over my life and the different things I've experienced and been a part of.


Speaker A: All to say there's little pieces, but hardly ever is there that, like, clean.


Speaker B: No one's that clean.


Speaker A: That's the whole point.


Speaker A: Exactly.


Speaker A: But TV characters are, and movie characters are, and I think that's the point.


Speaker B: I'm because it's easier for us to.


Speaker A: Process in terms of can I relate to any of those?


Speaker A: No, they don't really strike any resonance with me.


Speaker A: I don't feel any of those things.


Speaker A: The closest link is, I think hospitality is very important in your home, and that's only because I just like to be kind of a nice person sometimes.


Speaker B: If I have to have you in my home, we might as well all be comfortable.


Speaker A: Yes, let's all be cozy.


Speaker A: So the other thing I wanted to ask you is if there were any tropes or stereotypes that you thought about that you might want to bring up that you feel like I didn't cover because there wasn't a lot of time, so I didn't want to cover a bunch of stuff.


Speaker A: But if you feel like there's something glaringly missing, I just thought I'd give you the opportunity.


Speaker B: Wouldn't it be great if I listed, like, five things?


Speaker B: Things I think you totally missed out on in all your research.


Speaker B: And I was like, oh, my God.


Speaker B: How would you do this segment and not cover Southern pine roots?


Speaker B: And Southern I will give you I don't know.


Speaker A: I'll give you an example of one is like, fish out of water.


Speaker A: So you take someone who is from a rural area, and then suddenly they're in New York and learn in the city.


Speaker A: That is kind of a stereotype that shows up.


Speaker A: Not a stereotype, but a trope that shows up in storytelling and TV.


Speaker B: Why didn't you give us that one?


Speaker A: Well, I hate everyone.


Speaker A: Well, you'll just have to go read some articles for yourself.


Speaker A: So no is your answer.


Speaker B: I think now I'm thinking of a Beverly Hillbilly, so I've probably spiraled too much.


Speaker B: Go ahead.


Speaker A: That's okay.


Speaker A: I think it's also critical real quick to talk about the positive attributes of real Southern women.


Speaker A: Going back to, I think how this would like, how I see the look on your face and how some of this is hitting you.


Speaker A: And what I don't want to do is I think sometimes we try and bust up a stereotype, but then people, all they remember is like, hey, remember how all Southern women are southern bells and country girls?


Speaker A: So I wanted to take a minute to put aside those generalizations and talk about some of the things that we love about southern women that we know.


Speaker A: Okay, so the first thing that comes to mind for me is this sense of warmth.


Speaker A: It's almost like an energy that radiates around them, and it can really draw you in.


Speaker A: And really, for me, that warmth is related to charm.


Speaker A: Southern charm.


Speaker B: It's the thing, y'all, oh, no, you're back on the show.


Speaker A: There's not any charm there.


Speaker A: Sorry.


Speaker A: But it's like southern women, they have it in spades.


Speaker A: It's a mixture of that hospitality and the accent.


Speaker A: It's almost hypnotizing.


Speaker A: You got to be careful.


Speaker A: And while I don't consider myself a traditional person, certainly, I have to admit that I love little southern traditions, even ones that you and I uphold.


Speaker A: So, like, little handwritten notes, thank you cards, never returning an empty tupperware dish during the pandemic, you and I would go and put stuff in each other's mailboxes or out on the front porch, and I think that's a little bit of where our southern training was kicking in.


Speaker A: You're just, like, trying to make people feel a little better, and there's manners in the mix, but it's also a level of thoughtfulness that is perhaps only rivaled by midwesterners.


Speaker A: Is any of this striking, like, a tone with you?


Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's right.


Speaker B: Because in the main episode, we talked about etiquette and as you use the word manners, I realize I think there's a little bit of a subtlety to that, whereas they're used interchangeably and I did not look this up.


Speaker B: So I don't know it for sure, but I think manners is just like a shade of etiquette.


Speaker B: Etiquette is almost like a book you read, and manners is just sort of like that warmth you're talking about, that kindness you're talking about.


Speaker B: And I think that that is I hope my children still have southern manners, just the general thoughtfulness of other people.


Speaker A: So I also found a few things that lead me to believe that, one, we're not the only ones who are skeptical of these broad categorizations, and two, we are also not the only ones looking to bust them up in one way or another.


Speaker A: So we'll link to a 2018 Garden and Gun article, and I just love this description.


Speaker A: So the article, I think, is actually promoting a book that they put out around that time.


Speaker A: But here's what they say that it's showcasing ten, aweinspiring, risk taking, big dreaming, barrier breaking, soul bearing, free, willing southern women who shared a lifetime's worth of triumph, grit, and grace.


Speaker A: I just love that.


Speaker A: I think all of those are beautiful descriptors, and it really kind of speaks to that strength, I think, that you're talking about when that's what really comes to top of mind for you when.


Speaker B: You think about southern women.


Speaker A: We'll also link to a HuffPo article that lays out 19 stereotypes about southern women that you can just go ahead and dismiss right now.


Speaker B: Oh, good.


Speaker A: So just keep that in mind.


Speaker A: I want to take us out with a very low stakes game of me or not me using an elite daily article that I found, and it lists items that they claim are universally associated with I'm sure you've heard this term before.


Speaker A: We haven't really talked about it here, but grits, that is, girls raised in the south, no.


Speaker B: Oh, no.


Speaker A: So it'll be like literal game of grit splits.


Speaker A: So, again, it's going to take you through the list, give you the quick description, and you'll go, Me, not me.


Speaker A: You can give more information if you want, but you don't have to.


Speaker A: Okay.


Speaker A: If you don't have a story to tell, don't tell a story.


Speaker A: That's what I say.


Speaker B: Is that what you say?


Speaker A: I don't even know what I say anymore.


Speaker A: All right, so the first thing on their list is college football.


Speaker A: Every Southern woman loves her college team.


Speaker A: That doesn't necessarily mean she even attended the college, but someone in her family did, or it's just in close proximity to the college that she did attend.


Speaker A: Even if Southern women don't like sports, they love their SEC football, usually more so than their pro team.


Speaker B: Yes, that's me.


Speaker A: Not me.


Speaker A: Okay.


Speaker B: I went to an SEC school, and I feel like I used to identify with that a lot more.


Speaker B: I don't have as much time anymore to watch really long football games, but I imagine as my kids get older, I'll feel more closely tied to that.


Speaker A: Again, I want to be very clear that this sounds like a ton of Southern women that I know, just not me.


Speaker A: So often there are things that I feel so Southern, and then there are a lot of the staples, like, across this game where I'm going to be like, pan sweet tea.


Speaker A: I thought this was a normal thing until I lived outside the south and was served tea that wasn't sweet.


Speaker A: All tea in the south is sweet, unless you specifically ask for unsweetened.


Speaker A: In other parts of the country, you have to specify that you want sugar and lemon with your tea, and I find it very weird.


Speaker A: Sweet tea.


Speaker A: We've already spoiled this on the show long ago.


Speaker B: But, yeah, I mean, we're from the south.


Speaker B: I don't drink it a lot, but yeah, sweet tea is part of us.


Speaker B: Yeah.


Speaker B: It's our heritage.


Speaker B: I think it's part of our blood, isn't it?


Speaker B: That's probably part of the problem.


Speaker B: I can't drink it.


Speaker A: It sounds like diabetes.


Speaker A: All that said, we just had tea downstairs.


Speaker A: That's true, but that is unusual.


Speaker A: So for me, it's not me.


Speaker A: And I will also say, as someone who worked in a restaurant, most restaurants that I've attended, we offer both sweet and unsweet tea.


Speaker B: And I think it's changing over time.


Speaker B: Shoot.


Speaker B: I'm sorry.


Speaker A: I didn't know what that was.


Speaker B: That was my water bottle.


Speaker B: I'm sorry.


Speaker B: I think it's changing over time as people become even more health conscious and conscious about sweetener.


Speaker B: But I very much remember going to New York City with my mom in the early two thousand s, and she tried to order tea.


Speaker A: My mom has a little bit of.


Speaker B: A Southern accent, so you could kind of tell what she was going for.


Speaker B: And the lady said, you want unsweet tea?


Speaker B: And mom was like, no, I want sweet tea.


Speaker B: Like, my mom's default is sweet tea.


Speaker B: That's what she wants.


Speaker B: She doesn't want unsweet tea.


Speaker B: So I do think there is a generation just before us where sweet tea, I think it's slowly fading out.


Speaker B: But I consider myself a sweet tea person because that's how we were raised.


Speaker A: The fact that they knew what unsweet tea is blows my mind because it's just tea.


Speaker B: It's New York City.


Speaker B: I think they've seen all kinds.


Speaker A: Probably.


Speaker B: Probably like, we lived in Pennsylvania for a while.


Speaker B: I wonder what my parents would say about that.


Speaker B: I don't remember.


Speaker B: My mom just made sweet tea.


Speaker B: That's what we did.


Speaker B: Yeah.


Speaker B: We always had sweet tea in the refrigerator growing up.


Speaker A: We always had tea if we were my grandparents, bob mom drink diet diet Coke.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: Which also is a different kind of southern thing.


Speaker A: Well, my grandfather had had a heart attack, and so I think right when I was really little, my grandma started trying to make things healthier, and maybe that's when sugar came out of it, I'm not sure.


Speaker A: And then my other family side of the family is from the Midwest, and they ain't bother with all that.


Speaker A: So next up, grits.


Speaker A: This is another Southern staple.


Speaker A: Grits with breakfast, grits with dinner.


Speaker A: Shrimp and grits.


Speaker A: Cheesy grits, smooth grits, lumpy grits.


Speaker A: You get the point.


Speaker A: Grits seem to be a foreign concept to those outside of the south, but once you've tasted them, you'll understand.


Speaker B: Yes.


Speaker A: So do you have a favorite way that you like your grits?


Speaker A: It's okay if you don't like cheesy grits.


Speaker A: Or I have a friend that throws.


Speaker B: Jelly in her butter, and I like them kind of lumpy.


Speaker A: You like them lumpy?


Speaker A: Okay.


Speaker A: I like it when they get cold.


Speaker A: I can't remember if I've talked about this before.


Speaker A: I just let them sit out.


Speaker A: Like, I eat like, one serving, and then I'll push part of it to the side, and I like to so I have part hot, and then I have part cold.


Speaker A: And I like that just as much, which I think is because I like them kind of lumpy.


Speaker B: It's lumpy, right?


Speaker B: It's the texture.


Speaker B: I like them that way.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: Although I will say, you can mess up a grip.


Speaker B: You cannot cook them long enough when they're still kind of like crunchy or something that's different than lumpy.


Speaker A: I don't trust myself to actually make grits.


Speaker B: It's not easy.


Speaker A: Like, I can only do the ones that are like the maybe it's like 1 minute, like the quick, because it.


Speaker A: Feels just above my skill level.


Speaker B: Yeah, it's not easy, but I do.


Speaker A: Think that and sweet tea are like, maybe two of the very top Southern.


Speaker A: Yes.


Speaker A: This is something that is just so ingrained or whatever, and it's weird to me.


Speaker B: Some people don't even know what grits are still.


Speaker B: So I think for people who do know, yes, it's very much Southern, but there are some people who still don't know what they are.


Speaker A: I don't want to paint with a broad brush, but it does feel like especially when you go like, west, it is less known, but they just don't know what they're missing.


Speaker B: They're missing it.


Speaker A: Man, that's delicious.


Speaker A: So me or not me barbecue, there are huge differences.


Speaker A: Well, they're just talking about how there's differences in barbecue, which we've talked about extensively at different times on the podcast.


Speaker A: But do you feel like barbecues has been it's a me or a not me for your Southern experience?


Speaker B: I would say that this is partially me only because my husband loves to barbecue.


Speaker B: I didn't necessarily grow up eating pulled pork and brisket and things like that.


Speaker B: So it's like my adult me.


Speaker B: Does that make sense?


Speaker A: Absolutely.


Speaker A: If you were still who you were when you were twelve, we probably have problems.


Speaker A: Also, my young experience is like, ramen, even.


Speaker A: Like my mom is a young mom, like just dressing up ramen or something.


Speaker B: Don't remember eating barbecue much growing up.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: Let's see.


Speaker A: So how about lightning bugs?


Speaker B: Oh, yeah.


Speaker B: This is horrible.


Speaker A: This is awful.


Speaker B: I would never let my kids do this.


Speaker B: We used to catch them in a jar.


Speaker A: They talk about that a little bit.


Speaker A: Catching them in the Mason jar.


Speaker A: I think that's something that people did, but they probably still do it.


Speaker B: I don't know.


Speaker A: I'm not out there catching lightning bugs.


Speaker B: But I might find an ethical way to let my kids do it because it was just really fun.


Speaker B: They're magical.


Speaker B: Yeah, they're really magical.


Speaker A: They light up.


Speaker A: It's almost hard for that to not be a me, because if you go outside in the summertime, it's night, you're going to see them.


Speaker B: I think that's true.


Speaker B: Mine was more a hands on experience with them.


Speaker B: It wasn't summer till we had gone out and caught some lightning bugs and played with the jar a little bit.


Speaker A: Yeah, I feel bad.


Speaker B: I feel like we tortured those poor animals.


Speaker B: Insects.


Speaker A: This is a judgment.


Speaker A: This is judgment free Zone podcast table.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: And I would find it hard to believe that almost anybody didn't do that as a kid.


Speaker A: Part of me wonders do it now, though, because I don't know.


Speaker B: That's what I wonder.


Speaker B: And part of me wonders you use the word lightning bugs, other people use the word fireflies.


Speaker B: And I think lightning bugs itself is pretty Southern.


Speaker B: And so I think if you are outside in the summer with someone and see one of those and they say fireflies you know if you know me or not me.


Speaker A: Beauty pageants.


Speaker A: The majority of southern women have participated in beauty pageants growing up, some by choice and some by force.


Speaker A: Well, it's got sad.


Speaker A: Some of us even continue these beauty pageants into adulthood for scholarships and such.


Speaker A: It's just part of the lifetime lifestyle in the south.


Speaker B: Not me, but just one.


Speaker A: No, just two crap.


Speaker A: And it was really just to wear a dress.


Speaker B: I want this to be a me because I think the idea of a beauty pageant, like, on the face of it, if you do not dig any deeper, is just a lovely sentiment.


Speaker B: Getting to be beautiful, getting to wear a pretty dress, beautiful.


Speaker B: Getting judged on your looks, going against other women, other pieces of it are harder for me to that's a little piece of part.


Speaker A: Yeah, no, absolutely.


Speaker A: Whiskey and bourbon.


Speaker A: And this is the summary.


Speaker A: You know, the Carrie Underwood line.


Speaker A: Right now he's probably buying her some fruity little drink because she can't shoot whiskey.


Speaker A: We take our brown liquor seriously and can probably drink you under the table, but we are still expected to hold our liquor because one must always be a lady.


Speaker A: There's, like a lot of twists and turns in that one.


Speaker B: Let me say that growing up, my parents did not drink very much.


Speaker B: So my experience with alcohol is only as like a 21 year old plus adult only.


Speaker B: And so whiskey.


Speaker B: Only in the last few years have I started drinking whiskey.


Speaker B: I do not consider myself an aficionado.


Speaker B: I can't tell you the different kinds.


Speaker B: I can't taste something and tell you if it's bourbon or whiskey.


Speaker B: So I would say probably no.


Speaker B: But I do drink it.


Speaker B: I will drink it.


Speaker B: Just not like super all in on it.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: So I guess it depends on I don't drink, but I have drink, and so it's a not me.


Speaker A: And certainly when I was younger, it wasn't me because I wasn't drinking bourbon.


Speaker A: Now bourbon is cool, but like, when I was younger, it's not just really the phase of life that it was.


Speaker A: I've got this 25 year old double barrel.


Speaker B: What if that was the thing that brought you out of drinking retirement was whiskey.


Speaker B: I don't drink very much, but I drink whiskey.


Speaker A: I don't drink a lot, but occasionally I do like to have half a bottle of bourbon.


Speaker B: Five glasses a day keeps the doctor away.


Speaker A: And I do think, obviously, it's definitely part of the south.


Speaker A: I mean, it's hard to not think of bourbon and not think of Kentucky and everything that that means.


Speaker A: And the bourbon trails, and Tennessee has.


Speaker B: Their whole own whiskey thing going on too.


Speaker A: Yeah.


Speaker A: And then the very last one is dressing up, so we never leave the house looking a mess.


Speaker A: Hair must be done, makeup must be on, and we must look presentable.


Speaker A: Appearance is important in the south, both fortunately and unfortunately as someone once said you must always leave the house like you're about to meet the love of your life.


Speaker A: Who's that?


Speaker A: Someone I just love.


Speaker A: They said it like it's a famous Benjamin Frank.


Speaker B: As you know, this is so challenging for me because I am not the most I didn't do beauty pageants.


Speaker B: I typically do not leave the house without makeup on, and I typically do not leave the house without the way I'm dressed today in workout shorts and a t shirt usually is not the way I dress.


Speaker B: If I'm going to the store or something, I will usually pull on at least a pair of structured shorts and a nice top.


Speaker B: So I think it's me with the understanding that standards have lowered in the last few years post COVID.


Speaker A: I don't understand.


Speaker A: This is a funny game because it's like me and it's not me.


Speaker A: There have been times in my life where I wouldn't have left the house without makeup on.


Speaker A: Today it's just a different game.


Speaker A: And it's felt that way for a long time.


Speaker A: So today I would say it's not me.


Speaker A: Young Salina.


Speaker A: Definitely me.


Speaker A: But the older I get, I realize this is what my face looks like.


Speaker A: Well, this is not a good example because I have makeup on right now, but normally this is what my face looks like, and there's no amount of makeup is going to really change that all that much.


Speaker A: And also, I'm lazy.


Speaker B: I get that.


Speaker A: So to wrap us up all the way, yes, southern women are complicated.


Speaker A: But we are humans who cannot be confined to persistent tropes like the southern bell.


Speaker A: We are perfectly imperfect individuals with different backgrounds, hopes, dreams, and aspirations.


Speaker A: To be clear, some of us are debutants.


Speaker A: There are women who gladly consider themselves southern bells.


Speaker A: I know.


Speaker A: I'm watching it on TV right now.


Speaker A: Some are proficient in the outdoors.


Speaker A: Others, annoyingly, never have a hair out of place.


Speaker A: But I'll tell you this very rarely do we encounter anyone in a hoop skirt.


Speaker A: And just remember, every single one of us loves grits.


Speaker A: Every single one.


Speaker A: We just don't know it yet.


Speaker A: You know the drill.


Speaker A: DM us, email us, or contact us from the website.


Speaker A: And that's this week extra sugar.


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